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Timing is All: Elections and the Duration of United States Business Cycles

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  • Michael W. Klein

Abstract

Political business cycle theories predict that the occurrence and outcome of elections affect the timing of business cycle turning points. Opportunistic political business cycle theory predicts that a contraction is more likely to end soon after an election than at other times. Rational partisan political business cycle theory predicts differences in the likelihood of the end of an expansion after an election depending upon the party of newly-elected president. This paper directly tests the effect of elections on the turning points of the United States business cycle during analysis. The prediction that a contraction is more likely to end in the period before an election than in other periods is not supported by our empirical results. There is significant evidence. however. that an expansion is significantly more likely to end after the election of a Republican president but not after the election of a Democratic president in the post-World War I and post-World War II periods. This is consistent with the predictions of rational partisan political business cycle theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael W. Klein, 1993. "Timing is All: Elections and the Duration of United States Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 4383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4383
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    Cited by:

    1. Koen Schoors & Konstantin Sonin, 2005. "Passive Creditors," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 57-86, July.
    2. Berlemann, Michael & Markwardt, Gunther, 2003. "Partisan cycles and pre-electoral uncertainty," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 01/03, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
    3. Block, Steven A. & Vaaler, Paul M., 2004. "The price of democracy: sovereign risk ratings, bond spreads and political business cycles in developing countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 917-946, October.
    4. Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Five questions about business cycles," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 1-15.
    5. Castro, Vítor, 2010. "The duration of economic expansions and recessions: More than duration dependence," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 347-365, March.
    6. Panayiotis Diamandis & Anastassios Drakos & Argyrios Volis, 2007. "The impact of stock incremental information on the volatility of the Athens stock exchange," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 413-424.
    7. Huong Dang, 2014. "How dimensions of national culture and institutional characteristics influence sovereign rating migration dynamics," ZenTra Working Papers in Transnational Studies 42 / 2014, ZenTra - Center for Transnational Studies.

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    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles

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